6

I want to say "My brother and I are twins" in another way. Is it right to say 'My brother is my twin' ?

8
  • 2
    Certainly you may say that, and it will be proper grammar. (I don't know if it's true, but that's a different question.)
    – Hot Licks
    Dec 27, 2015 at 23:40
  • 2
    It's grammatical, logical, and unambiguous. But it would rarely be used (except as a dramatic revelation). Dec 27, 2015 at 23:41
  • 2
    It would be perfectly normal if, for example, everyone already knew he was your brother. Dec 27, 2015 at 23:56
  • 1
    @Araucaria - Yes. You might, for example, show someone a picture of him and say "This is my brother Fred." Then "My brother is my twin" would be a perfectly normal second sentence.
    – Hot Licks
    Dec 28, 2015 at 0:12
  • 1
    @HotLicks I would expect "We're twins" to be the vastly preferred follow-up.
    – Hellion
    Dec 28, 2015 at 15:48

1 Answer 1

9

The sentence "My brother is my twin" is grammatically correct. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the grammar.

The next question is, "Is it readily understood?" It absolutely is. There is no (reasonable) way to interpret this sentence other than to understand that the speaker has a brother, and the speaker and the speaker's brother are twins.

The last question is, "Does it sound right?" In other words, is it semantically awkward? Under certain circumstances (see the following paragraphs), I would suggest that the following phrases are more common, and by extension, would be considered less awkward:

  • "We are twins."
  • "My brother and I are twins."
  • "My twin brother and I ..."
  • "I have a twin brother."

What makes this sentence (potentially) awkward is that any twin of yours will implicitly be your sibling. So there is considerable semantic overlap between the terms "brother" and "twin." Thus, whether or not the sentence is awkward depends on how much information the listener already has (or is expected to have):

  • If the listener already knows about the existence of a brother, this would be the appropriate way to further indicate that that person is your twin. It would be equivalent of (as valid as) "Fred is my twin."
  • If the listener doesn't even know that the speaker has a brother, then the less awkward phrase would be "I have a twin brother."

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.